Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts



Committee Chair

Kyle Ferrill

Committee Member

Josef Hanson

Committee Member

Mary Wilson

Committee Member

Benjamin Smith


Though there has been much research on the effects of weight fluctuation on the speaking voice, there is a distinct lack of published data regarding how it affects the bodily mechanisms used for singing. This study aims to survey professional and amateur singers about changes to their breathing, phonation, vocal quality, and vocal mechanism after experiencing a significant (10% or more of total body mass or greater) weight change. Specifically, it aims to provide anecdotal data regarding which aspects of singing are most affected, on average, by weight loss and gain. An anonymous, mixed-method survey was given to 90 singers. On average, singers indicated positive changes to breathing ability with weight loss, in addition to perceiving a slightly brighter, more shallow timbre. Participants who gained weight indicated that their access to full breath suffered, but their timbre became darker and fuller. Although these results do not indicate actual scientific findings, they do indicate that many singers who took this survey experienced the similar changes to their singing when they experienced weight fluctuation. Through this study, a better understanding of the respiratory, phonatory, and resonatory changes that singers can experience as effects of weight fluctuation has been gained. Though the results of this survey illuminate only trends in the data, a large amount of information was collected, and a basis for further avenues of research was established.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest